The SMART Goal method was developed in 1981 by George T. Dornan as a tool to create criteria to help improve the chances of success in accomplishing goals in the corporate world. This method, however, can be especially helpful in establishing specific and attainable goals for children of all abilities, too. Start by answering the questions below to identify some goals to work in 2021 and beyond!


What exactly is the goal? Make goals objective instead of subjective.
Think WH questions:
• What do you want the child to do?
• Why is this goal important or needed?
• Who needs to be part of this goal?
• When will progress on the goal occur?
• Where can this goal be worked on?
• What motivates the child to achieve this goal?


Make the goal easily measurable. Measurability of goals helps in seeing the win. Visual supports, a simple chart or token system can help a child stay motivated and see the progress they are making.


Is the goal established realistic? Does the child have the skill level to achieve it? It is important for you to know “how” you are going to help him or her achieve this goal.
Remember, small wins can be more tangible for a child.


Is the goal chosen relevant to the child? What will this goal help the child do? And is this a goal that is important to the child?


Can this goal be achieved in an appropriate amount of time? How long will it take to achieve? Many children can have a limited attention span, so making goals long term might make a child lose motivation. Consider making goals achievable within a week to a month.

Involve the child in the goal setting process. Allowing a child to choose their own goals increases the likelihood of the goal being achieved!